From long and daunting royal tours abroad to day trips to local churches and countryside charities, the Princess of Wales must pack like a pro. Known to keep a handkerchief, lip balm and blotting paper in her everyday handbags — the mom of three must be precise when it comes to packing for long haul flights and back to back royal engagements.
Here are Kate Middleton’s 10 Rules for Traveling in Royal Style:
- Neutral Accessories
Rather than try to match her colorful red McQueen dress with scarlet pumps and a bright crimson bag, the Princess of Wales (then Duchess of Cambridge) packed for a trip to India opting to take a beige box bag and taupe heels.
2. Sock Stowaway
Whether or not you’re going through a TSA checkpoint at the airport, encounter some unsanitary hotel floors or just want warm feet or the airplane — carrying an extra pair of socks is always a smart strategy. The princess will sometimes wear nude tights if she’s going to be removing her shoes.
3. Less Fuss, More Fashion
A flowy maxi dress is a long distance must-have. Immune to heavy wrinkles and creases, fluid fabric doesn’t require a steam and is easily transported due to its lightweight material. Kate wore this cotton and silk blend bright red McQueen off-the-shoulder maxi for a tour stop in Germany.
4. Color Coding
The royals aren’t ones to throw their knickers into a roll-away bag and off they go. Instead, they rely on a travel coding system — they tag each and every garment bag, suitcase and carry-on with a color label — the tags identify the owner (in this case Princess Diana) and the destination of the bag (either residence, hotel or plane).
5. Find a Suitcase Brand You Love
The Prince and Princess of Wales reportedly own a bevy of bags from luxury luggage brand Globe-Trotter. Handmade with a “British aesthetic” — this designer suitcase company creates collections for every traveler in mind — from cruisers to safari seekers and even young, hip adventurers. It’s no wonder that Prince George and Princess Charlotte own 13 inch mini utility cases from the designer luggage label. The brand also sells compact amenity toiletry cases.
6. Find a Carry-On Brand You Love
Traveling feels less daunting when you have your favorite carry-on to accompany you on long adventures. The princess is partial to Longchamp Totes and owns the top handle nylon bags in black, brown, green (seen being hauled by royal assistants) and red. Kate is so enamored with the collapsible recycled canvas totes that she was snapped carrying her own Longchamp bag following a recent visit to the University of Cambridge in a pretty tea dress by LK Bennett.
7. Garment Bags are a Must
Many of Kate’s assistants and even her unofficial stylist have been photographed carrying garment bags for the princess when abroad. The garment bag is necessary for shielding clothes from damage, preventing wrinkles and optimizing storage space in cramped hotel closets and dingy dressers. Plus, Kate needs to pack her evening gowns separate from daywear or risk a case of glittery cargo pants.
8. Choose Casual Pieces Carefully
The princess relies on support staff to help her look picture perfect out in the wild but she also understands traveling requires her to be prepared with quick change outfits, versatile outerwear and smart separates. In Copenhagen, Kate wore a casual-centric outfit that could easily sub for a homeward bound plane ensemble. Shop Blundstone
9. Sneakers are Your Best Friend
For frequent fliers, there’s no getting around lots of walking — from the airport to the shuttle to the rental car outpost –there’s likely to be plenty of sightseeing and traveling on foot. Thus, it’s imperative for royals to pack practical footwear for their exotic escapades. Pro packer Kate loves to travel with her Superga Cotu 2750 sneakers which she debuted on a royal tour of Canada in 2016 and rewore in Belize in 2022.
10. Weather or Not
Traveling typically presents unforeseen challenges like sudden weather changes or flight delays. When hitting the road, it’s necessary to be ready for rainy skies, cold temps and even snowfall. Be sure to check the weather forecast for your destination and ‘Pack Like a Princess’ — including umbrellas, rain jackets and gloves.